Derived from the
standard schnauzer, whose origins date as far back as the
15th century in Germany, the
miniature schnauzer breed is the smallest of the three
schnauzer sizes. These little, muscular dogs have a happy
temperament and make good guard dogs because of their
propensity to bark at strangers, according to the American
Kennel Club. To control your dog's barking, train them to stay
quiet on command.
Determine the trigger for your dog's barking and remove it or
desensitize them to it. Miniature schnauzers typically bark
when a stranger is at the door because of their guarding
instinct to protect their family members. As part of this
territorial barking, a miniature schnauzer may bark when they
hear or see another dog or person outside. Close the drapes or
blinds to block your dog's view of the outside to help stop
this type of barking. You can also desensitize your dog to
strangers or other dogs by giving your dog treats and praise
while you are both in the presence of strangers and other dogs
or while your dog sees them through a window. When your dog
views strangers and other dogs as something good, they won't
continue to bark at them.
Rewarding Desired Behavior
Miniature schnauzers are intelligent dogs that are easily
trained using positive, consistent methods. When your miniature
schnauzer begins to bark, ignore the bark completely;
acknowledging the barking ends up encouraging it further. Once
your dog stops barking, praise your dog and give your dog some
favorite treats. This could take anywhere from a few minutes to
over an hour for some dogs. If the dog begins barking again,
immediately ignore your dog. Your dog will soon realize that
barking results in something unpleasant while staying quiet
results in a reward. This type of training decreases barking overall,
especially compulsive barking.
Train your dog to stop barking on your verbal cue by teaching
them the "Quiet" command. Trigger your dog to bark by having a
friend or family member ring the doorbell or play a recording
of other dogs barking. Once your dog begins to bark a few times
in a row, calmly say "Quiet" and wait for a pause in the
barking. Immediately click a dog training device and give your
dog a treat. You can also give your dog a series of treats to
stop your dog's barking after giving your dog the "Quiet"
command. This type of training requires repetition for 10 to 15
minutes each day to teach your dog what is expected of them.
Never yell at your miniature schnauzer during training to keep
your dog quiet. Not only will this make the dog fearful of you,
it will also encourage your dog to continue barking. Training
may take several weeks or months, although this breed learns
more quickly than others, according to the American Miniature
Schnauzer club. These eager-to-please little dogs respond well
to positive training but bore easily, so keep the sessions
short and vary them with play each day. If you notice that your
dog seems to bark for no reason, bring your dog to a
veterinarian to check for any health issues that could be the cause of
this behavior. Exercise your miniature schnauzer daily to help
release pent-up energy and reduce your dog's propensity to
Teach Your Dog to Bark
Some puppies are natural talkers – they moan, groan, howl,
yowl, yip, yap, whine, and bark. Others are quieter by nature.
Either way, teaching your puppy the “Speak” command and its
opposite command, “Quiet,” will enable you to build his
communication skills and eliminate inappropriate puppy
Command #18 - “Speak” and “Quiet”
“Speak” means your dog should bark.
“Quiet” means your dog should stop barking and be quiet.
Ask yourself, is my dog a talker or more the silent type?
If… Your puppy is a natural ‘talker,’ you can take
advantage of that fact in teaching “Speak.”
Then… When your pup begins to bark, for
whatever reason, you can say, “Simon, Speak!” If he barks
again, say, “Yes! Good Speak!” Try to time your command of
“Speak” to occur just before he barks, and then offer a treat
and reinforce with “Yes! Good Speak.” This is an easy way to
teach this command, and if you keep it up, he will understand
what you want and will “Speak” on command. Look for
opportunities when you know your puppy will begin to bark
(for example when someone comes to the door) and ask him to
“Speak” just before he would start anyway.
If… You have a puppy that is quiet by nature and not
a big talker.
Then… You will need to build some excitement (and
maybe a bit of frustration) to get him to speak. There are a
number of ways to accomplish this. Does your puppy have a toy
that gets him super excited? You could use that to entice
your puppy to “Speak.” Ask him to sit and begin playing with
the toy. Keep your energy up and be excited. Encourage him to
speak, but do not let him have the toy unless a sound of some
sort issues forth. At first any sound from him will do –
encourage him with “That’s It! Speak!” Reward (with a treat)
for any sound he makes to give him the idea that sound is
what you are looking for. Reinforce a sound with “Yes! Good
Once your puppy is speaking on command, you can begin
teaching “Quiet.” With your puppy ready and willing, ask him to
“Speak,” followed by “Yes! Good Speak!” Ask for another
“Speak.” As he is speaking, say, “Simon, Quiet!” Say this
slightly louder and in a firmer tone of voice, to get his
attention. As soon as he is silent, say, “Yes! Good Quiet,” and
give him a treat.
You can make a game of “Speak” and “Quiet,” asking for “Speak”
two or three times followed by a “Quiet,” then maybe one
“Speak” followed by a “Quiet,” then four “Speaks”… you get the
idea. Changing the number of times he speaks before being quiet
will keep him interested in doing as you ask and ensure that
you are in control of his speak/quiet cycle.
“Speak” and “Quiet” are fun and useful commands that can help
develop communication skills between you and your dog. Teaching
“Speak” and “Quiet” essentially gives you the ability to switch
your puppy’s vocalizations on and off – a handy skill to have
to prevent incessant barking or to play vocal games with him.
Have fun with it and your puppy will too!
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References & Resources